Mazzel tov is literally translated as “good luck” but is not used as that phrase is in English, as a wish for the future. Instead, the implicit meaning is “good luck has occurred” or “your fortune has been good” and the expression is an acknowledgement of that fact. It is similar in usage to the word “congratulations!” and conveys roughly, “I am pleased this good thing has happened to you!”
Throughout the Jewish world, including the diaspora, “mazel tov!” is a common Jewish expression at events such as a bar or bat mitzvah or a wedding. For example, at a Jewish wedding, it is shouted by the couple’s friends and family after the ceremonial breaking of the glass. The phrase is used for all sorts of happy occasions, such a new driver’s license, a birthday, or getting a new job.